Latest Best of NY

Best NYC Jewish Delis

March 13, 2011 8:00 PM

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Pastrami from Katz's Delicatessen. (Image from

Pastrami from Katz’s Delicatessen. (Image from

katzsdeli Best NYC Jewish Delis

Who hasn’t been served a couple slices of rye holding pale, tasteless tomatoes, what looks to be six inches of equally pale lunch meat and a perfunctory swab of mustard? The heart sinks at this purely utilitarian assembly. But New York has a knack for its Jewish delis and its denizens are loyal to the ones they love; it’s an important relationship. Start yours here. – Anna Van Lenten

secondavenuedeli Best NYC Jewish Delis

The 2nd Avenue Deli website. (Image from

2nd Avenue Deli

162 East 33rd Street
New York, NY 10016
(212) 689-9000

Reviews & more info

The pastrami and corn beef here are tender, moist, salty-right. If you’re a real fresser, get the pastrami with chopped liver! The pickles are great, as is the potato salad. If you’ve never had matzoh ball soup, try it here and see what all the fuss is about. If you’re in the mood, the hush puppies are super tasty.

Gottlieb Restaurant

352 Roebling Street
Brooklyn, NY 11211
(718) 384-6612

Reviews & more info

Check your flesh at the door, where a sign warns, “No shorts or short sleeves allowed,” then surrender to the extremely perfect pastrami, which also comes in the form of an eggroll and knish. Chicken liver plates are sumptuous, the mushroom and barley soup generous and filling. Be adventurous and order a small plate of chulent (beef, barley, potatoes, onions, and beans all mixed up) with a bowl of the wonderful chicken soup.

katzsdeli Best NYC Jewish Delis

Pastrami from Katz's Delicatessen. (Image from


205 East Houston Street
New York, NY 10002
(212) 254-2246

Two must-haves at this New York institution: Corned beef sandwich on rye (fresh pickl-ish meat, fresh rye bread, mustard and mayo)-simple and delicious. And pastrami: the best pastrami this side of heaven: salty, smoky, spicy, beef-y. Everything else pales in comparison, though die-hards insist on a plate of pickles to accompany things. Katz’s also preserves an important, all-too-rare deli tradition: they cut your meat by hand, giving it a chunkiness you just can’t get from a machine.

millbasin Best NYC Jewish Delis

The Mill Basin Deli website. (Image from

Mill Basin Kosher Delicatessen

5823 Avenue T
Brooklyn, NY
(718) 241-4910

Standout staples of this knockout deli include its smoky spicy pastrami, tangy rich corn beef, chicken, matzoh ball and pea soups, garlic and half sour pickles, slaw, and macaroni salad. Notable too are the latke chips: thinly sliced latkes are fried cracker-crisp and wonderful.

sargespastrami Best NYC Jewish Delis

Pastrami from Sarge's. (Image from

Sarge’s New York Delicatessen

548 3rd Avenue
New York, NY 10016
(212) 679-0442

Reviews & more info

If there’s a brain center for a Reuben sandwish—then Sarge’s would hit all its spots: salt, fat, vinegar, cream, cheese, garlic, and beef. The pastrami is outstanding and the matzoh ball soup delicately excellent. Pickles (briny & garlic), classic cole slaw, and a slice of fluffy Challah bread with a giant scoop of chopped liver should be accompanied by cholesterol meds.

More CBSNewYork Restaurant Guides:

The Best Pizza In New York City

NYC’s Best Mac & Cheese


NYC’s Best Street Meat

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  • JH

    Dear Anna,
    Katz’s Deli…the word “mayo”…

  • jh

    Dear Anna who wrote this article,
    Under Katz’s Deli I saw the word “mayo”…
    never and I mean never…should anyone ever put mayo on corned beef and/or pasrami…it kills the taste of the meat…

  • Bernard

    Epps Epson in Livingston. Absolutely the best pastime that I have ever tasted. My family begs me to bring the famous pastrami sandwiches every time I visit Cherry Hill.

    • Bernard

      The best pastrami…iPad did a spellcheck…

  • Don

    Pastrami King on Queens Blvd in Kew Gardens

  • Larry Schwarz

    Sure these are good but not healthy and a diabetics worst nightmare.Im diabetic and like to treat myself once in a blue moon but how about smaller portions,and thinner bread.(one slice of rye sliced so your really only having one slice of bread).The portions at Bens Deli are adequate.(portions are just right and thats where I go.Another deli is The Woodrow in Hewlett Long Island that serves adequate but not humongous portions,I go there when Im on Long Island)..People today want smaller portions,and want to pay less.Perhaps some of these delis should consider that in these days.

    • Larry Stone


      I think you are mising the point about these old school deli’s. There are millions of food places serving healthy type food, but as a friend of mine who grew up in phila recently informed me, most of the old school deli’s and resturants have changed or gone out of business. He really misses the smells and taste these deli’s had. Its not always about healthy sometimes its about remembering,sharing and creating memories with friends and family.

  • steve

    trim the fat or we all die

  • greedo

    Help! I’m in north Jersey – can’t seem to find a good Pastrami sandwich anywhere!

  • Devenio

    Anyone know of a deli in the Wall Street area.

  • Janet Parslow

    We need a Jewish deli in Dutchess County

  • Josh

    Jay & Lloyd’s Kosher Deli – 2718 Ave U – Sheepshead Bay – B’klyn
    Best Pastrami I’ve ever had and I’ve had them all.

  • dolores

    what about delis in queens, the best one

  • Betty

    What!! No more Jewish Deli’s in da Bronx??

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